New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Enemy at the Gates
1 Seek refuge, Benjaminites,
from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
raise a signal over Beth-haccherem;
For disaster threatens from the north,
and mighty destruction.(A)
2 Lovely and delicate
daughter Zion, you are ruined!
3 Against her, shepherds come with their flocks;[a]
all around, they pitch their tents against her;
each one grazes his portion.(B)
4 “Prepare for war against her,
Up! let us rush upon her at midday!”
“Woe to us! the day is waning,
evening shadows lengthen!”
5 “Up! let us rush upon her by night,
destroy her palaces!”(C)
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts:
Hew down her trees,
throw up a siege mound against Jerusalem.
Woe to the city marked for punishment;
there is nothing but oppression within her!(D)
7 As a well keeps its waters fresh,
so she keeps fresh her wickedness.
Violence and destruction resound in her;
ever before me are wounds and blows.(E)
8 Be warned, Jerusalem,
or I will be estranged from you,
And I will turn you into a wilderness,
a land where no one dwells.
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
Glean, glean like a vine
the remnant of Israel;
Pass your hand, like a vintager,
repeatedly over the tendrils.
10 To whom shall I speak?
whom shall I warn, and be heard?
See! their ears are uncircumcised,
they cannot pay attention;
See, the word of the Lord has become for them
an object of scorn, for which they have no taste.(F)
11 But the wrath of the Lord brims up within me,
I am weary of holding it in.
I will pour it out upon the child in the street,
upon the young men gathered together.
Yes, husband and wife will be taken,
elder with ancient.(G)
12 Their houses will fall to others,
their fields and their wives as well;
For I will stretch forth my hand
against those who dwell in the land—oracle of the Lord.(H)
13 Small and great alike, all are greedy for gain;
prophet and priest, all practice fraud.(I)
14 They have treated lightly
the injury to my people:
“Peace, peace!” they say,
though there is no peace.(J)
15 They have acted shamefully, committing abominations,
yet they are not at all ashamed,
they do not know how to blush.
Therefore they will fall among the fallen;
in the time of their punishment they shall stumble,
says the Lord.(K)
16 Thus says the Lord:
Stand by the earliest roads,
ask the pathways of old,[b]
“Which is the way to good?” and walk it;
thus you will find rest for yourselves.
But they said, “We will not walk it.”(L)
17 I raised up watchmen[c] for them:
“Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!”
But they said, “We will not pay attention!”
18 Therefore hear, O nations,
and know, O earth,
what I will do with them:
19 See, I bring evil upon this people,
the fruit of their own schemes,
Because they did not pay attention to my words,
because they rejected my law.(M)
20 Of what use to me is incense that comes from Sheba,
or sweet cane from far-off lands?
Your burnt offerings find no favor with me,
your sacrifices do not please me.(N)
21 Therefore, thus says the Lord:
See, I will place before this people
obstacles to trip them up;
Parents and children alike,
neighbors and friends shall perish.(O)
22 Thus says the Lord:
See, a people comes from the land of the north,
a great nation, rising from the very ends of the earth.(P)
23 Bow and javelin they wield;
cruel and pitiless are they.
They sound like the roaring sea
as they ride forth on horses,
Each in his place for battle
against you, daughter Zion.
24 We hear news of them;
our hands hang helpless,
Anguish takes hold of us,
pangs like a woman in childbirth.(Q)
25 Do not go out into the field,
do not step into the street,
For the enemy has a sword;
terror on every side!
26 Daughter of my people, dress in sackcloth,
roll in the ashes.
Mourn as for an only child
with bitter wailing:
“How suddenly the destroyer
comes upon us!”(R)
27 [d]A tester for my people I have appointed you,
to search and test their way.(S)
28 Arch-rebels are they all,
dealers in slander,
bronze and iron, all of them,
destroyers they are.
29 The bellows are scorched,
the lead is consumed by the fire;
In vain has the refiner refined,
the wicked are not drawn off.
30 “Silver rejected” they shall be called,
for the Lord has rejected them.
- 6:3 Shepherds come with their flocks: foreign invaders with their armies.
- 6:16 Pathways of old: history and the lessons to be learned from it.
- 6:17 Watchmen: the prophets who, like Jeremiah, had upheld God’s moral law.
- 6:27–30 God appoints Jeremiah to be a “tester” of his people. The passage uses the metaphor of the refining of silver: the silver was extracted from lead ore, but the process in ancient times was inexact, so that sometimes all that was left was a scummy mess, to be thrown out.
New International Version
Jerusalem Under Siege
6 “Flee for safety, people of Benjamin!
Flee from Jerusalem!
Sound the trumpet(A) in Tekoa!(B)
Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!(C)
For disaster looms out of the north,(D)
even terrible destruction.
2 I will destroy Daughter Zion,(E)
so beautiful and delicate.(F)
3 Shepherds(G) with their flocks will come against her;
they will pitch their tents around(H) her,
each tending his own portion.”
4 “Prepare for battle against her!
Arise, let us attack at noon!(I)
But, alas, the daylight is fading,
and the shadows of evening grow long.
5 So arise, let us attack at night
and destroy her fortresses!”
6 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Cut down the trees(J)
and build siege ramps(K) against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished;
it is filled with oppression.(L)
7 As a well pours out its water,
so she pours out her wickedness.
Violence(M) and destruction(N) resound in her;
her sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 Take warning, Jerusalem,
or I will turn away(O) from you
and make your land desolate
so no one can live in it.”
9 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Let them glean the remnant(P) of Israel
as thoroughly as a vine;
pass your hand over the branches again,
like one gathering grapes.”
10 To whom can I speak and give warning?
Who will listen(Q) to me?
Their ears are closed[a](R)
so they cannot hear.(S)
The word(T) of the Lord is offensive to them;
they find no pleasure in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath(U) of the Lord,
and I cannot hold it in.(V)
“Pour it out on the children in the street
and on the young men(W) gathered together;
both husband and wife will be caught in it,
and the old, those weighed down with years.(X)
12 Their houses will be turned over to others,(Y)
together with their fields and their wives,(Z)
when I stretch out my hand(AA)
against those who live in the land,”
declares the Lord.
13 “From the least to the greatest,
all(AB) are greedy for gain;(AC)
prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.(AD)
14 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.(AE)
15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.(AF)
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when I punish(AG) them,”
says the Lord.
16 This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,(AH)
ask where the good way(AI) is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest(AJ) for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
17 I appointed watchmen(AK) over you and said,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’(AL)
But you said, ‘We will not listen.’(AM)
18 Therefore hear, you nations;
you who are witnesses,
observe what will happen to them.
19 Hear, you earth:(AN)
I am bringing disaster(AO) on this people,
the fruit of their schemes,(AP)
because they have not listened to my words(AQ)
and have rejected my law.(AR)
20 What do I care about incense from Sheba(AS)
or sweet calamus(AT) from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable;(AU)
your sacrifices(AV) do not please me.”(AW)
21 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“I will put obstacles before this people.
Parents and children alike will stumble(AX) over them;
neighbors and friends will perish.”
22 This is what the Lord says:
“Look, an army is coming
from the land of the north;(AY)
a great nation is being stirred up
from the ends of the earth.(AZ)
23 They are armed with bow and spear;
they are cruel and show no mercy.(BA)
They sound like the roaring sea(BB)
as they ride on their horses;(BC)
they come like men in battle formation
to attack you, Daughter Zion.(BD)”
24 We have heard reports about them,
and our hands hang limp.(BE)
Anguish(BF) has gripped us,
pain like that of a woman in labor.(BG)
25 Do not go out to the fields
or walk on the roads,
for the enemy has a sword,
and there is terror on every side.(BH)
26 Put on sackcloth,(BI) my people,
and roll in ashes;(BJ)
mourn with bitter wailing(BK)
as for an only son,(BL)
for suddenly the destroyer(BM)
will come upon us.
27 “I have made you a tester(BN) of metals
and my people the ore,
that you may observe
and test their ways.
28 They are all hardened rebels,(BO)
going about to slander.(BP)
They are bronze and iron;(BQ)
they all act corruptly.
29 The bellows blow fiercely
to burn away the lead with fire,
but the refining(BR) goes on in vain;
the wicked are not purged out.
30 They are called rejected silver,(BS)
because the Lord has rejected them.”(BT)
- Jeremiah 6:10 Hebrew uncircumcised
King James Version
6 O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction.
2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.
3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place.
4 Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.
5 Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.
6 For thus hath the Lord of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her.
7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds.
8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.
9 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.
10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days.
12 And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord.
13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.
16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.
21 Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.
22 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion.
24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
25 Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.
26 O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.
27 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.
28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.
29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.
30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.